Optimizing Website Performance with Google Lighthouse (2024)

What is Google Lighthouse?

Google Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages. It provides guidance on how to improve the performance, accessibility, best practices, SEO, and progressive web apps of your website.

How does Google Lighthouse improve website performance?

Page load speed

Google Lighthouse measures the loading time of your web page and provides suggestions on how to improve it.

Mobile performance

It evaluates your website’s performance on mobile devices, including issues like font sizes, tap targets, and responsive design.

Core Web Vitals

Google Lighthouse assesses the core web vitals, including largest contentful paint, first input delay, and cumulative layout shift, to ensure a smooth user experience.

Progressive web apps

It checks if your website is built using the principles of progressive web apps, such as offline capabilities and fast loading times.

Accessibility

Google Lighthouse identifies areas where your website can be more accessible to users with disabilities, such as proper use of alt text for images and keyboard navigation.

SEO optimization

It evaluates your website for basic SEO best practices, including meta tags, headings, and sitemap accessibility.

How does Google Lighthouse work?

Google Lighthouse runs audits on your website and generates a report that scores your site in the areas mentioned above. It then provides actionable feedback on how to improve your website’s performance.

How to use Google Lighthouse

1. Run Google Lighthouse reports

Open Chrome DevTools, go to the Audits panel, and run a new report with Google Lighthouse.

2. Interpret Google Lighthouse reports

Performance

Check the performance score, and review opportunities and diagnostics for improvement.

Accessibility

Ensure your website is accessible to all users by addressing any issues found in the report.

Best practices

Review the best practices section to ensure your website follows industry standards.

SEO

Check the SEO section for any issues that need to be addressed to improve your website’s search engine ranking.

Progressive web apps (PWA)

If applicable, review the PWA section to optimize your website for progressive web app functionality.

3. Use Google Lighthouse audit feedback

Opportunities

Focus on the opportunities section to prioritize improvements that will have the most impact on your website’s performance.

Diagnostics

Address any issues listed in the diagnostics section to ensure a smooth user experience.

Passed audits

Celebrate the areas where your website has excelled and maintain those standards.

Additional items to manually check

Review any additional items that Google Lighthouse suggests manually checking for further optimization.

Google Lighthouse FAQ

How do I enable Lighthouse in Chrome DevTools?

Go to Chrome DevTools, click on the Audits panel, and select “Perform an audit…” to enable Google Lighthouse.

Should I run Google Lighthouse in incognito mode?

Running Google Lighthouse in incognito mode can provide a more accurate representation of your website’s performance by eliminating any customization or cached data.

Can you use Google Lighthouse for mobile performance analysis?

Yes, Google Lighthouse provides insights into your website’s performance on mobile devices, helping you optimize for a mobile-first experience.

What are some common issues Google Lighthouse can detect?

Common issues include slow page load times, accessibility errors, SEO deficiencies, and issues with progressive web app functionality.

Is Google Lighthouse only for performance analysis?

No, Google Lighthouse evaluates various aspects of your website, including performance, accessibility, best practices, SEO, and progressive web apps, providing comprehensive feedback for improvement.